Considering a job switch at any stage in life doesn’t have to be daunting or impossible. According to a Conference Board survey, almost half of all American employees find themselves unhappy with their current jobs. A roadblock like this would’ve been entirely understandable (or even acceptable) a few decades ago. Today, however, there are countless accessible options–both online and offline–making it easy and even enjoyable to segue into an entirely unexplored career territory. These options include the incredible concept of bootcamps.
What Is a Software Engineering Bootcamp?
Software bootcamps include accelerated and intensive training programs that focus on equipping the learners with programming languages, tools, and techniques used to create smartphones and computer applications. During a bootcamp, students have access to one-on-one mentorships, receive graded assignments, and work with an extensive network of peers.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) report, there is a growing demand for software engineers and developers, quality assurance specialists, and software testers. BLS also predicts a staggering 22% increase in the employment rate in the software engineering sector between 2020 and 2030.
It typically takes 2-4 years to complete an undergraduate computer science degree. Software engineering bootcamps, on the other hand, cover a similar set of skills that usually take 12-20 weeks. In some cases, bootcamps can also last as long as 12 months. Bootcamps generally appeal to learners who are currently on the lookout for balancing their professional schedules and personal commitments. With an array of online, in-person, and hybrid learning options, bootcamps provide flexible learning opportunities that bring actual results.
In recent years, there has been a massive boom in bootcamp popularity. Verified Market Research reports that the software engineering bootcamp market was valued at $399.91 million in 2019, and by 2026, it is expected to touch the $889.37 million threshold. In other words, this market is projected to expand by 10.70 percent from 2019 to 2016.
A 2022 survey reveals that 10 percent of software engineers acquired coding skills mainly through bootcamps. These numbers are significantly higher among younger populations. About one in six Gen Z developers revealed bootcamps to be their medium of acquiring new skills.
You may be wondering: what exactly do software engineering bootcamps cover? How much do they cost? And what does the future hold for learners churned out of bootcamps? Read on to take a comprehensive dive into everything that software engineering bootcamps bring to the table.
Software Engineering Bootcamp Curriculum
No two curricula would be similar when exploring software engineering bootcamps. Each bootcamp puts into the spotlight its coursework and focus. That said, you can expect the same bootcamp to experience consistent shifts, thanks to the current framework changes and new technologies emerging on the horizon.
Course Report’s study also suggests that 94 percent of bootcamp learners study full-stack web development. However, software engineering bootcamps aren’t only related to full-stack development. Here is the wide variety of courses that these bootcamps cover:
Front End Development
- UX design
Back End Development
Full Stack Development
- Dynamic HTML templating
- RESTful routing
Aside from specific software engineering disciplines, bootcamps also cover a variety of languages, tools, and technology that align with the current tech needs of corporations and startups alike.
Web Development Frameworks
Servers and Hosting
- Amazon AWS
In addition to a comprehensive curriculum, bootcamps also prepare the learners for the job market. A majority of the students report they receive valuable assistance during their courses, including resume preparation, apprenticeship programs, and on-site interviews, among many others.
Software engineering bootcamps typically come in three variations – part-time, full-time, and self-paced.
Part-time bootcamps usually take place during the weekends or evenings, covering 3-4 hours per day. Weekends might include longer classes. Full-time bootcamps come with intensive daily schedules that cover 8-10 hours and 5-6 days per week. Self-paced bootcamps involve delivering the learning material in an asynchronous schedule to suit the time and pace of the learners.
What Is the Scope of Online Software Engineer Bootcamp?
Online software engineering bootcamps offer the possibility of learning remotely so the participants can continue with their current jobs alongside learning a new skill. As with on-site bootcamps, online bootcamps offer full-time, part-time, and self-paced courses. In 2020, about 15,619 developers had completed their full-time online bootcamps, with these numbers only estimated to grow further in the future.
While online courses are notorious for the lack of actual results, online bootcamps offer immersive, one-on-one programs that keep the learners engaged, and some even guarantee jobs. The features of online bootcamp–outcome-oriented curricula, networking with peers, instructor-led training, and targeted career coaching–pretty much align with in-person bootcamps.
Especially during COVID, when a vast population switched to remote learning, it was reported that about 84% bootcamps moved entirely online. The result was a massive shift in growth rate and market size from in-person courses to online ones.
The average salaries of online bootcampers were almost identical to in-person bootcamp graduates–about $69,000. In 2020 alone, bootcamps offered scholarships worth $13.5 M for learners impacted by the pandemic.
When it comes to bootcamp costs for intensive and full-time courses with robust career preparation, learners can expect to pay anywhere between $10,000 to $15,000.
There is no comparison scale between a 4-year degree and a bootcamp education in terms of the costs. Software engineering bootcamps typically cost about $13,579 on average. The more expensive bootcamps charge more than $20,000, while the least expensive ones can cost a few thousand dollars.
The average tuition fee for boot camps in 2020 was $12,265. However, it’s important to note that not all part-time bootcamps cost less the full-time ones. If you’re an experienced coder looking for a skill-specific bootcamp, it would typically cost you $1,000 to a few thousand dollars. Comprehensive online software engineering bootcamps, on the other hand, can cost anywhere between $5,000 to $15,000.
Unlike conventional colleges, software engineering bootcamps do not hold regional or national accreditation. For this reason, students cannot be eligible for federal financial, including federal grants and loans.
But that shouldn’t stop aspiring students from pursuing bootcamps. Most bootcamps come with flexible financing options that include scholarships and private loans. As a learner, you can also take a deferred tuition plan and pay your fee only after graduation or landing a tech job. Financial assistance for bootcamps includes:
- Loans: Financial institutions and banks help you accumulate private loans for bootcamps. Factors like income, credit history, employment, and income affect the loan terms.
- Scholarships and fellowships: Some learners also qualify for scholarships that can help them slash a few thousand dollars from their overall tuition fee.
- Payment plans: Bootcamps come with payment plans that enable the learner to pay their fee, often without any interest, in monthly installments throughout the entire course.
- Deferred tuition plans: When students defer the cost of tuition, they are eligible to pay back the fee once they graduate or acquire a job.
- Income share agreements: These are similar to deferred tuition plans
As per the National Center for Education Statistics, an undergraduate program’s average yearly tuition cost is $65,300. If you multiply it by four years, you’d need nearly $65,000 to fund your education. This is where bootcamps come in as a viable option. They have higher affordability, but they are also packed with the latest, hands-on tools and techniques demanded by a majority of startups and tech giants.
Post-Bootcamp Career Paths
The success rate of securing a job post bootcamp graduation varies with different providers. As per the CIRR data, the rate of job placement after graduation is 79% after attending a 180-day bootcamp. This conclusion was determined based on data collected from 49 software engineer bootcamps between January and June 2019. The type of job also depends on the specific discipline you choose to study–software engineering, user experience design, web development, data science, and cybersecurity–during your bootcamp.
Bootcampers have the opportunity to acquire full-time, part-time, in-person, and online jobs. The following are the top careers along with the salary potential that bootcamp graduates can choose from:
- Software engineers: the role of software engineers includes building software products alongside applying their engineering expertise to plan projects. These professionals have a yearly salary of about $86,680.
- Bank-end web developer: this job typically involves working with data, servers, data storage processes, and APIs. The average salary for this job is $77,570.
- Junior developer: the focus is mainly on mobile app development, software development, and front-end or back-end development. Junior developers earn an annual income of $53,800.
- Full-stack web developer: this job requires professionals to handle both front-end and back-end development. Most bootcamps cover full-stack development, and the average annual salary upon graduation is $67,170.
- Software developer: the professionals in this field develop software around what users need. Software Developers can earn up to $71,990 per year.
- UX/UI designer: UX/UI designers craft the user interface and user experience for mobile apps, websites, and other software. UI designers have an average salary of about $63,770, and UX designers have an average salary of $74,270 per year.
- Software product manager: a software product manager ensures that the company’s software runs efficiently to meet all its goals. Alongside being well-versed with technology, software product managers are also expected to have a background in business development. Typically, they make an annual salary of $97,580.
On graduation, bootcampers can find the right job within 120 days and expect over a 50 percent hike in their salary within two years. About 74 to 90 percent of the graduates, research suggests, can land a successful job within six months of their bootcamp completion. Some even see a $10,000 increase in salary with every new tech role they take.
Bootcamps also train and equip students with the right tools to run a productive job search. Some of these tools include:
- Interview mastery
- Creating the right resume
- Constructing a professional LinkedIn profile
- Carving a personal brand
Indeed reports that four out of five tech companies have hired graduates from software engineering bootcamps, and nearly all HR managers are keen on hiring bootcamp graduates more than once. The top companies– according to Career Karma’s State of the Bootcamp Market report–that hire bootcamp grads include:
- JPMorgan Chase
- Booz Allen Hamilton
Software developers help learners achieve successful careers in tech by making courses more accessible and affordable. While bootcamps provide flexible learning options, they demand a fair amount of time and effort. For those wanting to upgrade their existing careers or break into new careers–bootcamps can be an important ally that brings in hands-on learning methods and up-to-date course curricula to create work in sync with the ever-changing tech industry.